Alleged identity theft scam fleeced $500k from Aussies
Three people are facing more than 70 charges after police dismantled an alleged sophisticated identity theft and money laundering syndicate.
Detectives from the Cybercrime Squad raided three properties in Eastgardens, Coogee and Randwick at 7:30am yesterday where they allegedly found more than 150 mobile phones, 300 credit cards and 300 SIM cards.
Police allege they also seized $11,580 in cash, personal identity documentation, computer and electronic equipment and 18g of a substance believed to be the drug ice, $50,000 in luxury handbags, a Land Rover and a Holden Commodore.
A 42-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man were arrested at the Eastgardens home and a 41-year-old man was arrested at the South Coogee home.
All three were taken to Mascot Police Station.
Police allege the group used stolen personal information to apply for credit cards in Australian resident's names to obtain cash, cryptocurrency, phones and household goods.
The woman was charged with 20 offences including knowingly direct the activities of a criminal group. Police will allege the woman was the leader of the syndicate and stole more than $150,000 from the scam.
The man from the Eastgardens home was charged with 35 offences including participating in a known criminal group, and police say the man obtained nearly $300,000 from the cyber scam.
Police charged with South Coogee man with 18 offences and allege he stole more than $27,000 in the scam.
All three will face court today.
Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, said the alleged syndicate was dismantled after months of detective work.
"Over the past five months, Cybercrime Squad detectives have conducted an extensive investigation into this sophisticated syndicate targeting hard working Australians across the state," Det Supt Craft said.
"Police will allege that this syndicate fraudulently obtained nearly $500,000 with false personal identification information which was used to launder money through fake bank accounts, cryptocurrency and gift cards," he said.
"Inquiries into the origin of the personal identification are ongoing, but investigators have confirmed that they were created without the knowledge of the legitimate persons."
Originally published as Alleged identity theft scam fleeced $500k from Aussies